Dental implants have changed what we do in dentistry more than any other procedure in the past 50 years. Both dentists and patients once struggled to keep badly broken down teeth because there were few really good ways of replacing missing teeth. Because dental implants are such a highly successful means of replacing teeth, dentists and patients should be much less reluctant to remove a failing root canal tooth or a tooth that is severely compromised from decay or fracture. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth with a predictably high level of success.
The dental implant itself is only the structure to which a crown, bridge or denture is attached to. When someone says they have a dental implant and they show you a pretty looking tooth, you have only received part of the information. Technically the implant is the portion that is placed into the bone and after several months of healing the final restoration can be attached to the implant. The implant is just the foundation for a crown, bridge or other restorative procedure. For example, if a single tooth is lost and an implant is placed, it then requires several months of healing before a crown can be made to finish replacing the tooth.
There are many conditions that need to be considered prior to placement of an implant. The main piece of criteria is the condition of the bone in the area the implant needs to go. If a tooth is being extracted with the idea that a dental implant is going to be placed, then the extraction site should be treated in a way to optimize the amount of bone in the site. There also are different sizes of implants for different sizes of teeth and differing amounts of bone. The healthier the bone is in the area the implant is place typically means there is a higher success rate of the procure working properly.
The actual procedure of placing an implant and restoring it is rather simple. It is critical that all the right decisions are made during the entire process for consistently excellent results. If you are in question about placing an implant and restoring it, please consider that in all the years I have been doing implants that I have never had a patient say they wish they hadn’t done it. When done correctly it is a remarkable procedure with great results.